Category Archives: advocacy

Was Luc Gregoire the Calgary Prostitute Murderer?

 

 

 

 

I’ve been giving some thought and research to the matter of the man convicted in the First Degree Murder of Lailane Silva, Luc Gregoire being the serial killer suspected in the deaths of a number of prostitutes in the Calgary area from 1991 to 1993.

These cold-cases have long been a point of frustration for the RCMP,  Calgary Police Services, and the Calgary community (see Homicide: When The Trail Goes Cold and 505 Killing, 25 years: What our analysis says about Calgary). In his 2012 book, Cold North Killers, Lee Mellor dubs these “The Calgary Prostitute Murders”, singling out the files of Jennifer Janz, Jennifer Joyes, Keeley Pincott, Tracy Maunder, and Rebecca Boutilier and suggesting that another six unsolved female murders may be linked:

“Then as soon as the killings started, they stopped. Police suspect the killer may have been jailed for another crime.” 

As it turns out there is an offender who fits the profile and timeline. It’s Luc Gregoire. The Calgary cases unfolded between July 1991 and March 1993. Gregoire was released from prison in Alberta January 1991 and arrested in May 1993 for the Silva murder.

Initially when Gregoire was apprehended there was a lot of attention given to the matter, with police reporting that they were investigating Gregoire for other murders ( a May 7, 1993 Calgary Herald article references Gregoire in relation to the then unsolved murder of Dilleen Hemple, as well as Maunder and Boutilier). Gradually, all the attention died-down. In fact, today the only reference you can find linking Gregoire to these cases is in the obscure dark corners of web sleuthy sub Reddits.

Perhaps police did their due diligence and found no evidence. Or perhaps they didn’t like what they found and conveniently chose to ignore where it was leading (note: Gregoire died in a Quebec correctional facility in 2015).

So was Gregoire the Calgary Prostitute Murderer?

Maryanne Pearce

 

 

The following timeline was developed using three primary source documents. The first document was a 1993 report commissioned by The Correctional Service of Canada analyzing the pre-indicators that lead up to the First Degree Murder charge of Luc Yoland Gregoire after his statutory release from prison in Calgary Alberta on January 21st, 1991. The second document is a report by Calgary sociologist Augustine Brannigan on the victimization of prostitutes and is available (click here) on the internet. Finally there’s Maryanne Pearce‘s most excellent database, An Awkward Silence: Missing and Murdered Vulnerable Women and the Canadian Justice System which documents the history of female homicide in Canada suggesting that possibly as many as 4,000 cases of murdered and missing indigenous women in Canada remain under-investigated by law enforcement (for more on this read the article, The Vanishing of Canada’s First Nations Women)

First some background on Gregoire. Recall that Gregoire had a varied criminal history in Quebec, and did not particularly target any specific type of victim. In 1981 he assaulted a mother of four in a parking lot in Sherbrooke, Quebec and attempted to choke her with his bare hands. In 1983 Gregoire was arrested in Montreal for an assault on a prostitute where he attempted to have sex with her and her injuries resulted after she refused. In 1985 he is arrested in Slave Lake, Alberta and charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

In the month leading up to his murder of Lailane Silva his behaviors appear similarly random. April 6, 1993, Gregoire assaults a Calgary prostitute with a roofing hammer. May 2, 1993, Gregoire attempts to abduct Aida Yuen in front of her Castleridge home. Finally, murder victim Silva is a 7-Eleven employee who Gregoire abducts while she is washing the store windows at 12:30 am, May, 3, 1993. Gregoire rapes and murders (strangulation) Silva in his car, then dumps her body in Calgary.

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TIMELINE

MAY 1986

Gregoire is convicted and sentenced in Edmonton, Alberta on charges of Robbery (4 years), Unlawful Use of a Fire Arm (3 years consecutive, with 10 year probation), Possession of a Prohibited Weapon (2 years concurrent). He serves 3 1/2 years before being granted release on Mandatory Supervision.

JANUARY 21, 1991

Offender Gregoire is released on Mandatory Supervision, and is living in Edmonton, Alberta.

FEBRUARY 1991

Gregoire is assessed by his parole supervisor as “high risk / medium needs”. Psychological intervention is seen as essential and “is being pursued”. Abstention from intoxicants is listed as part of the action plan, Gregoire reports attending bars to test himself and is cautioned by his supervisor, Bruce Anderson.

MAY 1991

Gregoire is referred to a treatment center to determine need for counseling.

JUNE 1991

“The semi-nude body of Shawna Van Der Basch, age 20, is found on June 20, 1991, in a ditch beside a gravel road south-west of Calgary near the town of Priddis. This was the first of three murders in 1991. The evening before the body was discovered, Miss Van Der Basch had been seen in a downtown nightclub in the company of a man with whom she left after midnight. She had been in Calgary for six months since moving from Vancouver. She had worked as a hairdresser and as an escort. The cause of death was strangulation. Shawna Van Der Basch was not known as a street prostitute and nothing was published about her activities as an escort. However, the way the body was discarded bears comparison with both previous and subsequent cases.”

JULY 1991

Jennifer Janz

“The second 1991 case involved an adolescent. Jennifer Janz’s body is unearthed at a construction site on August 13 near Valley Ridge Road and the Trans-Canada Highway on the western edge of Calgary in a shallow grave (Calgary Herald, August 15, 1991). She is “battered” and apparently died from a massive blow to the chest (Calgary Herald, August 16, 1991). She was a 16 year old who left home after completing grade nine to live with her street friends. She had attended a Christian camp in Texas in September and October of 1990 with the support of her family. Upon returning to Calgary, she tried unsuccessfully to re-enter high school and drifted back and forth between her family and the street. She was last seen by her family on July 10 when she was driven to hospital by her father for medical treatment. She appeared close to becoming reconciled with her family in the weeks before she disappeared (Calgary Herald, October 6, 1991). Whether she was involved in street prostitution was not publicly disclosed. The case has not been cleared.”

Gregoire attends treatment and becomes agitated at the length of time required for assessment, and the interview is terminated. Under the circumstances, the attending psychologist closes the file and notes that there would not be any benefit in having him re-referred.

Also at this time a Community Risk / Needs Management Scale is completed which assesses Gregoire as “low risk / medium needs”. Gregoire is reluctant to see a psychologist, but is meeting regularly with a pastor of a local church who is trained in counseling.

AUGUST 1991

Jennifer Joyes

“The third 1991 case came to attention within days of the Janz murder. Jennifer Joyes, age 17, was reported missing from her group home on August 30, having last been seen at the home on August 10th. Her nude and partially de-composed body is found in a wooded area near Springbank west of the city limits on October 7, 1991 (Calgary Herald, October 8, 1991) – two kilometres south of the spot where Jennifer Janz’s body was found on August 13 (Calgary Herald, Oct. 9, 1991). The body had been in the area for at least a month, according to police. The cause of death was not publicized.”

During a regular supervision appointment Gregoire is observed to have a black eye and scratches. He explains that he was at a night club drinking and intervened on behalf of a woman who was being beaten. Case notes report that this is the first indication that he is drinking again.

NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 1991

Another assessment session is scheduled, however Gregoire is unable to attend due to employment in Calgary. One month travel permit is issued to Calgary.

Community Risk / Needs Management Scale is completed. Alcohol use is reported, but is not seen as problematic. “Low risk / Medium needs” assessment is maintained. Supervision is transferred to Calgary since offender Gregoire will now be working there permanently.

JANUARY 1992

Anita Gilavish

January 18th, 1992, the body of teenager, Anita Gilavish is found in a bird sanctuary in the East part of Calgary. Family mention that she ran with a “rough crowd”, cite use of drugs. Possibly involved in prostitution.

MARCH 1992

“The  case of Keeley Louise Pincott, age 29. News reports described Pincott as a “mother, barmaid and waitress” (Calgary Herald, November 3, 1992). Pincott went missing after working as a barmaid several days before her body was discovered. There was no evidence that she was involved in street prostitution. The cause of death is unknown or unpublished. Her skeletal remains were found 2 kilometres north of Cochrane in a shallow grave in a dead end road used as a ‘lover’s lane’ on 10 March, 1992 (Calgary Herald, March 12, 1992). Police identified the body as that of Pincott shortly thereafter. The location of the remains some 40 kilometres north west of Calgary raised questions about a common killer in the Janz, Joyes and Pincott cases (Calgary Herald, March 12, 1992). In September, 1994, an Edmonton RCMP crime analyst suggested that police had a suspect in the three murders but insufficient evidence for an arrest. Subsequent reports have failed to substantiate this.”

Gregoire is assessed and the report notes of his reluctance to participate in counseling, and concludes that there would be little benefit in forcing him to attend. In terms of alcohol use, it suggests that if it results “in any criminal charge while he is still on parole then his parole conditions should be varied to abstain and attend treatment for further assessment.”

JULY 1992

Community Risk / Needs Management Scale completed by Alberta Justice parole supervisor Betty Buss. Gregoire’s use of alcohol is seen as a major focus of supervision, and notes that should alcohol cause a change in the current situation further action will be initiated. The case plan includes the reduction of use by one half. The General Statistical Information on Recidivism (SIR) rating is recorded as +4 although a new rating has not been completed and the Edmonton supervision records consistently refer to a rating of -8. He is assessed as “low risk / low needs”, and supervision frequency is reduced from twice to once per month.

AUGUST 1992

Jean McMaster

“Another 1992 case was brought to our attention by Calgary police. This case involved a transsexual, Jean McMaster. No story appeared in The Herald. It is not known whether McMaster was working as a prostitute nor is the cause of death known at this time. This case is uncleared.”

Found August 8th, 1992 at 68th street SE, Calgary.

SEPTEMBER 1992

Gregoire reports to his parole supervisor an unauthorized trip to Banff. A case conference is held with the Director of Calgary Central Parole Office and Gregoire is verbally reprimanded.

OCTOBER 1992

“The next case involved Tracy Lynn Maunder who was a 26 year old single mother. She was seen by the building manager in the apartment complex where she lived on October 28, 1992 and her appearance was confirmed later that evening on the main stroll by other prostitutes. Since her child was under supervision of a baby sitter, her disappearance was noticed immediately. Her partially clad body was discovered on November 1 in a grassy field in the area of 17th Ave SE between Garden and Sheppard Roads on the outskirts of Calgary. She had been beaten and stabbed to death. She was survived by an 11 year old son – a son she bore when she was only 14 years old. She had worked previously as a waitress, and had been prostituting for about 6 months prior to her murder, apparently to support her son. At the time of her murder, she was battling cancer. In subsequent investigations, the RCMP discovered a knife near the scene of the crime (Calgary Herald, November 7, 1992). The case has not been cleared.”

Gregoire is granted a six day travel permit to Edmonton to pursue legal action against the Service as a result of his 1988 assault at the correctional institution.

NOVEMBER 1992

Dilleen Hempel was a waitress when she was abducted on her way home from work, November 16, 1992. Five months after Dilleen’s disappearance, the search ended in tragedy when her body was discovered. A man, unknown to the young waitress, had followed her home from the bar where she worked and lured her from her car. Steven Beirnes then shot her twice in the back of her head and buried her in a shallow grave in sight of his living room window. Beirnes committed suicide while in prison in 2005.

DECEMBER 1992

Claudette Collette Anctil’s body is found beside an apartment building at 1339 10th Avenue SE. She was 27 years old, and was known by the police to frequent the low track stroll around the National Hotel. She was also known as a narcotics user. She disappeared late on Wednesday, December 2 and her bloodied body was discovered early on December 3, 1992. The police did not release the cause of death (Calgary Herald, 4 December 1992). “

Community Risk / Needs Management Scale completed. Alcohol consumption is reported as reduced to the point that Gregoire is now saving money through a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).

JANUARY 1993

The Corrections report notes, “The following information concerning events of January 31, 1993, is related to an ongoing investigation by the Calgary Police Service and was provided in confidence.”:

January 31, 1993: Gregoire is charged with Impaired Driving after being found asleep at the wheel of his car at midnight in the parking lot of a convenience store close to his home. He is issued an appearance notice and released. There is no record of notification of this arrest to the Alberta Justice duty officer.

FEBRUARY 1993

Rebecca Boutilier

Rebecca Boutilier was reported missing by her mother on February 12, 1993 after failing to return home to care for her 14 month old child (Herald February 17, 1993; Herald, March 3, 1993). Boutilier (age 20) had worked the streets since age 17 and had had problems with narcotics.  The reports in the press in February and March detailed her mother’s attempts to circulate the photograph of her missing daughter to help track down her whereabouts. 

On Thursday March 11, 1993 a naked body was discovered in a crop field in the extreme northwest outskirts of the city. There were obvious “wound marks” on the body which was partially covered by grass (Calgary Herald, March 12, 1993). She has been stabbed. The body was identified on Friday as that of Boutilier but at the time there were outstanding reports of three missing females anyone of whom could have been identified. Police questioned Boutilier’s estranged common law husband, Stanley Wayne Selinger, age 28. Selinger was due to appear in court on February 26 to face assault charges involving Boutilier and their son, Avery, arising from an incident reported December 30, 1992. Because of Boutilier’s disappearance on February 12, the assault case was adjourned (Calgary Herald, March 13, 1993). Selinger was never charged in the homicide. However, the assault case was brought to trial along with related charges on July 27. The Crown dropped the assault charges and Selinger pled guilty to 2 charges of possession of a restricted weapon – a switchblade and martial arts sticks and was fined $800 (Calgary Herald, July 28, 1993). This homicide has not been cleared.”

February 18, 1993: During a routine office interview, Gregoire reports to parole supervisor Buss that he has been charged. Her case notes read in part, “got charged impaired? in care + control, was sleeping in car because he had a few- cut it out” The notes continue to discuss the status of his RRSP and health benefit membership.

MARCH 22nd, 1993

Gregoire case notes indicate “waiting for end now – keep straight after WED..”

APRIL 6th, 1993

The Corrections report again notes, “The following information concerning events of January 31, 1993, is related to an ongoing investigation by the Calgary Police Service and was provided in confidence.”:

Gregoire is charged with Assault with a Weapon  on a Female at approximately 0300 hours after a Calgary prostitute complains that she was assaulted with a roofing hammer by a client. He is released on $200 bail later that morning. There is no record to the Alberta Justice duty officer of this arrest.

APRIL 16th, 1993

The final case note entry reads: “Police done today – starting to celebrate – take it easy. On parole to May 13. No need to report.”

The Corrections report notes, “Some of the events included in the chronology for the period May 2 – , 1993 inclusive are the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Calgary Police Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Information on these matters was provided in confidence by the Calgary Police Service”:

MAY 2nd, 1993

Aida Yuen reports to Calgary Police that a man attempted to abduct her in front of her home at approximately 2330 hours. She is able to escape and drives to a nearby store where she reports the incident.

MAY 3, 1993

Approximately one hour after the attempted abduction on May 2, Lailane Silva disappears from her work place. There is substantial media coverage of this event.

At 180 hours, May 3, 1993, the Alberta Justice duty officer (at the Bow River Correctional Centre) is contacted by the Calgary Police Service which is seeking unspecified information concerning offender Gregoire. They are told a message will be left for parole supervisor Buss who will contact them in the morning.

Offender Gregoire is arrested at 2230 hours May 3, 1993 and charged with unlawful confinement. At approximately 0150 hours on May 4, 1993, the Alberta Justice duty officer is advised of the arrest by the Calgary Police Service. A suspension warrant is issued and received by Calgary Police at approximately 0230 hours, May 4, 1993.

MAY 4, 1993

The body of Lailane Silva is found in Calgary and offender Gregoire is charged with First Degree Murder. There is considerable media coverage, including a media conference by the Calgary Police Service, and it is reported that inmate Gregoire is being investigated concerning other disappearances.

A sensational incident report is filed this date by the Director of Calgary Central Parole Office.

MAY11, 1993

The suspension report is completed, and recommends revocation.

MAY 13, 1993

Offender Gregoire’s Statutory Release is revoked.

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Here are my thoughts on the timeline and cases:

My assessment is that there is a good possibility that Luc Gregoire was responsible for the murders of Anita Gilavish, Tracy Maunder, Jean McMaster, Claudette Anctil and Rebecca Boutilier. 

You will note that the media was initially quite diligent in pursuing this angle but very quickly dropped it. Perhaps they too saw that there was no evidence to support Gregoire as the murder of these women.

Perhaps something more.

For what would it say if Gregoire was allowed to prey on the city of Calgary, on some of the community’s most vulnerable members for over seventeen months, right under the noses of those that were enlisted to protect its citizens, the Calgary Police Service and the Calgary Central Parole Office? Never mind the $800,000 settlement in the matter of Lanie Silva, how much might all the other families extract?

Has law enforcement and the media been entirely transparent and responsible in these matters? Did they abandon the cause of a marginalized population? Are they at best lazy, at worst complicit?

Luc is dead. We may never know.

The Kim Rossmo Interview – WKT #12

An Interview with criminologist Dr. Kim Rossmo, whose pioneer work lead to the creation of the field of geographic profiling:

Rossmo joined the Vancouver Police Department as a civilian employee in 1978 and became a sworn officer in 1980. In 1987 he received a master’s degree in criminology from Simon Fraser University and in 1995 became the first police officer in Canada to obtain a doctorate in criminology. His dissertation research resulted in a new criminal investigative methodology called geographic profiling.

In 1995, he was promoted to detective inspector and founded a geographic profiling section within the Vancouver Police Department. In 1998, his analysis of cases of missing sex trade workers determined that a serial killer was at work, a conclusion ultimately vindicated by the arrest and conviction of Robert Pickton in 2002. A retired Vancouver police staff sergeant has claimed that animosity toward Rossmo delayed the arrest of Pickton, leaving him free to carry out additional murders. His analytic results were not accepted at the time and after a dispute with senior members of the department he left in 2001. His unsuccessful lawsuit against the Vancouver Police Board for wrongful dismissal exposed considerable apparent dysfunction within that department.

After serving as director of research at the Police Foundation in Washington, DC, from 2001 to 2003, he moved to Texas State University where he currently holds the Endowed Chair in Criminology and is director of the Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Investigation. Since then, he has applied techniques of geographic profiling to counterterrorism, animal foraging, and epidemiology. He has also researched and published on the subject of criminal investigative failures. He has written three books.

At the conclusion of this interview Kim very kindly wrote, “I just wanted to tell you that I have done a lot of interviews over the years and your questions today were really good. I could tell you put a lot of thought and planning into this.”

Rossmo as a “beat cop” in Vancouver:

More information on Rossmo and the Vancouver downtown Eastside missing persons can be found by clicking on the links. 

Patricia Pearson’s book When She Was Bad about women who murder. It’s a great read and you can order it from Amazon:

Here is Rossmo’s geographic profile of San Francisco’s Zodiac killer:

Serial killer Clifford Olsen:

The Banksy application to geographic profiling:

Michael Herr’s novel Dispatches:

 

The Bee Gees, Islands In The Stream:

The King Curtis cover of Procol Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale:

My favorite Supertramp album (I hope it’s Kims!):

The Guess Who, Running Back to Saskatoon:

Theresa Allore / Poirier Enquete

Happy New Year.  For those interested, the episode that was filmed last Spring for Poirier Enquete on Theresa Allore will air tomorrow evening (January 4th, 2017) on the Historia channel  in Quebec.

Historia advanced the release date on this. Originally it was not supposed to air until the third season (2018). Now it will be kicking off season two. 

The episode will air daily on Historia through January 11th, and will be available for several weeks on Historia’s website ( Content available only in Canada, but there are work arounds for that 😉  )

Other cases to be covered in Season two:

Marie-Josée St-Antoine, episode 2

Nathalie Godbout, episode 3

Joanne Dorion, episode 4

Roxanne Luce, episode 5

Mélanie Cabay, episode 9

Here is a link to their website and a description of the program:

Novembre 1978, Theresa Allore, étudiante au Collège Champlain de,Lennoxville, disparaît. Le 13 avril 1979, le corps de la jeune femme de 19 ans sera,retrouvé dans un bras de la rivière Coaticook à Compton, à un km de sa,résidence étudiante. Longtemps, les enquêteurs de la SQ affirmeront,qu’elle est morte d’une overdose, même si ses proches affirment qu’elle ne,consommait pas de drogues dures. Récemment, les enquêteurs ont reconnu qu’elle a,été victime d’une mort violente.

 

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Bon anniversaire Surete du Quebec: consistently corrupt for 38-plus years.

Commemorating 38 years of incompetence, amnesia and subterfuge:

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Responding to reports that Quebec police spied on journalists’ emails and phone calls Edward @Snowden simply Tweeted “Oh Canada”, mocking us for our naivety:

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The Globe and Mail’s Les @Perreaux writes,

“If you don”t care about cops spying on reporters you should care that the cops need reporters to do their investigating for them.”

And to that I would add, “and citizens”.

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Meanwhile, the Quebec Union of Professional Journalists @FPJQ is calling for a full public inquiry into the matter. To which I say, get in line.

The FPJQ can have their inquiry AFTER we get our inquiry into the police mishandling of unsolved murders in Quebec, and the destruction of physical evidence (a matter equally systemic across Quebec police forces as the monitoring of media email and telephone calls).

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With all due respect to the journalism profession in Quebec, let’s not lionize the media. Over 38 years I can count on my hands the number of reporters who were dedicated and thorough. Most of the hard investigative work was not done by police, NOT BY JOURNALISTS. It was done by private citizens like myself.

Radio Canada weighed in with the resounding, “Qui Police la police?”:

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Really? You’re just now realizing how this works?

In a presser last night Chief Public Security Bobblehead, Martin Coiteux opened his mouth and offered nothing but his persistent and unconvincing performance that he was just as shocked as all of us.

The Minister is out of step with the people: None of us are shocked. The game is rigged. The fox is guarding the fox-house. 

Emma’s Acres featured in CBC documentary

A shout out to the folks at Emma’s Acres in Mission, BC for their  excellent efforts in restorative justice.

Emma’s Acres is a farm that employs survivors/victims, ex-offenders and offenders.

They produce vegetables, herbs and fruits –  grown naturally without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers – on an 8-acre property in the beautiful Mission Valley in Southern British Columbia, just miles from the Washington border of the United States.

The produce is sold at the Mission City Farmers’ Market, and to local restaurants and stores. They also make donations to local non profits in the District of Mission including the food banks and the community kitchen.

The proceeds fund the work of Long-Term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C. ),  (disclosure:  I serve as Board Vice-Chair for LINC).  

The CBC recently did a brief documentary on Emma’s Acres profiling two of its participants: John, who robbed and murdered a man in Toronto in 1985; and Ray King, whose son was murdered by Clifford Olsen in 1981. The two toil side-by-side working the farm land each day. You can watch the full documentary here:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/convicts-victims-work-to-heal-old-wounds-on-b-c-farm-1.3819003

At the heart of LINC / Emma’s Acres are Sherry and Glen Flett. It’s their idea, and they started the venture not long after Glen was paroled in 2006. Glen was an accomplice to the murder of Ted Van Sluytman, 40, at a Hudson’s Bay store after a robbery in Toronto on March 27, 1978. Flett was convicted of second-degree murder and served 20 years in prison. 

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Glen Flett

 

Glen is also featured in the documentary. I have met Glen, and we still correspond occasionally, mainly because we both live and despair each hockey season over the fate of our beloved Habs.

I’m not trying to make light of Glen’s transgression. I do think, however, that Glen made a mistake, served his punishment, and it’s time to forgive. Glen deserves to be humanized, not forever regarded as a criminal.

Emma’s Acres isn’t for everyone. There will always be the sort that will try to game the system. Some offenders cannot be rehabilitated. But for those that are willing to walk the path? Thank God –  and Sherry and Glen – for Emma’s Acres.

I’ve never held vengeance in my heart for offenders. It is one of the reasons I was able to reach out to Luc Gregoire in prison shortly before he died, and no doubt one of the reasons he wrote back to me. I didn’t approach him as a criminal. I simply wanted to know if he murdered my sister. Had he affirmed that, I would have had a second, more important question: Why? What happened to you along the way, and what can we do to ensure that you never do something like that again?  In some cases the answer is, “never let them engage with society again”. But in other cases the response is, “Give them a second chance”.

I do know this. The answer is not the current justice model in the United States: Endless incarceration. Eradication of mental health funding. Treating drug dependency (prescription or other ) as a crime, not an illness. If that is your model, then don’t be surprised that you are shooting innocent people in the streets over a simple stop-and-frisk.

I sometimes joke with Sherry that when I retire, I’m moving to Emma’s Acres. I’m only half joking. It would be very redeeming to work a field through the day’s light, knowing that the ultimate goal was my welfare, my well-being. Maybe some day.

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An inquiry about Melanie Cabay

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Dear Sir:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the unsolved murder of Melanie Cabay.
First, I am aware of all those cases you speak of, and I believe Poirier Enquette is doing stories on both Cabay and  Marie-Ève Larivière. I am happy to help you with anything. I have been asked before to take my research into the 80s and 90s: I haven’t done that because I find the work exhausting / disturbing: I can’t do everything. But I am happy to assist anyone with my ideas.
I will offer a few things:
On the one hand, there are similarities with the cases I researched and the cases you bring up from the 1990s: abductions in cities, with bodies being disposed of on the frontier of cities. Clothing scattered. These may be patterns of a single offender. On the other hand they may also be patterns of simply what offenders do: You don’t “shit where you eat” as they say in english. So you don’t want a body around where you live and play (in this case “play” = stalking and killing women).  The clothing scattered: this may be what all offenders do in a panic: they dump the body: they don’t want anything associated with the body near them, in their car, etc… so they get rid of it quickly: I don’t think in any of these cases we are talking about the rape and murder occurring at the site where they were found: the rape and murder (in the cases where this happened) occurred somewhere else, THEN they dumped the bodies.
So again, could this be the work of one person? Possibly. I am more inclined to think it is maybe 4 or 5 similar offenders, who repeated several crimes, and who copycatted each other (if you observe that a woman in the early seventies gets raped and murdered and the police do nothing about it? maybe this inspires a criminal: maybe they think they can get away with it too. Better still, if they copy it, maybe the other guy will get blamed for it. Understand?) This happened in London, Ontario in the 70s, so it is not unprecedented:  
That the murders in the Montreal / Sherbrooke area stopped around 1981 may be attributed to many things:
1. Offender moves away
2. Offender gets arrested for some other crime, is in prison for an extended period.
But there is another element. Around 1981 the Quebec police stopped being so generous in sharing information. Up until 1981 there was a fairly fluid relationship between the police and the media in Quebec (The offices of Allo Police were across the street from the Surete du Qubec’s Montreal headquarters on Parthenais). The crime scene photographers were quasi-journalist / civilian police staff. As a result, a lot of information about victims and crimes was accessible, and still is accessible. After 1981, the policy with Quebec police must have changed. You can see it in the crime archives at Rouge Media  / Allo Police: the files from the 70s are filled with all kinds of things, from photos to police reports. When you research the the files from the late 80s? All of that is gone. There are only newspaper clippings. There are none, or very little source documents.
What I am suggesting is that maybe there were other murders, we just never heard of them because the Quebec police closed its doors.
So I will get to the question you are ultimately asking: could one serial killer be responsible from the 70s up until now: from Prior to Allore to Cabay to Cedrika Provencher, and all of the others along the way?
Highly improbable when you look at the length of the timeline 40 years? An offender in their 70s today. Improbable, but possible.
More probable? We are talking about several offenders with overlapping timelines. This is just an example: 
  • Offender 1: Prior, Houle, Leakey (75 to 81).  
  • Offender 2: Camirand, Allore, Bazinet – goes to jail then – Cabay? (77 – 94) Maybe.
  • Offender 3: Nicole Gaudreault – moves from Montreal to Sherbrooke, gets a good job, has a stable life, dormant for decades, then a crisis happens, he re-emerges – Cedrika? (79 – 2007) Maybe.
I see no issue with entertaining such possibilities. There are all kinds of examples that can back up such behavior. 
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You asked, how did I access police information. Well, one source I mentioned above, the archives of Allo Police, now located at Section Rouge Media in Longueuil. The other source is the Grand Bibliotheque on de Maisonneuve in Montreal. You can make a records request (give them the victim name, date and location of disappearance, date and location of discovery) if they have it, it will cost you a few dollars for the service.  
I have already put a request in for you for Melanie Cabay. If I receive anything I will pass the information on to you, with my complements. 
Thank you for reaching out to me, and I wish you every success.
Regards,
John Allore
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Francis Laforest: Poirier Enquete: Saison 1 / Épisode 03

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Poirier Enquete va continuer ce soir avec l’histoire de Francis Laforest:

Francis Laforest, copropriétaire du Bistro McTavish à Terrebonne, a 29 ans lorsqu’on l’agresse sur le boulevard Terrebonne. Deux individus cagoulés sortent d’une camionnette, le frappent avec un bâton de baseball, puis le laissent pour mort. Il décède peu après, à l’hôpital. Bien qu’aucun suspect n’ait été arrêté, on soupçonne des motards criminalisés qui voulaient gérer la vente de drogue au McTavish, mais les Laforest résistaient au chantage. Depuis le meurtre, deux des suspects ont disparu.

Le dossier fait partie du portefeuille cold-case de la Sûreté du Québec (SQ a compétence sur Terrebonne – clique ici)

Voici ici pour un extrait (non disponible aux Etats-Unis)

Aggression: Compton, QC – 1977

Gilliard House, Compton. 2016

Gilliard House, Compton. 2016

Une femme qui était un étudiant au collège Champlain (et en résidence à King Hall, Compton) en 1977 m’a contacté ce matin. Pendant l’année scolaire 1977-1978, elle et quelques amis ont été auto-stop retour de Lennoxville à Compton.

J’ai détaillé beaucoup de comptes comme celui-ci. Vous pouvez trouver un affichage sur le sujet ici (cliquez ici).

King's Hall, Compton. 2016

King’s Hall, Compton. 2016

Je reçois beaucoup de courriels comme celui-ci. Mais ils sont rarement ce détail (et effrayant) – et elle-même m’a prévenu des compromis de la mémoire. En outre, il est pas un seul compte, il est trois témoins (oui, je leur nom):

À l’automne ’77 ou Spring ’78 (je sais qu’il n’y avait pas de neige au sol) deux amis et je raté la navette mi après-midi du campus et a commencé à l’auto-stop Kings Hall. Je pense que nous sommes allés chercher juste après la dernière barre à droite à la sortie de Lennoxville. Je ne me rappelle pas le nom de ce bar, qui a été fréquenté par la population locale. Je suis dans le dos et a glissé vers derrière le conducteur, laissant place à un ami à côté de moi, l’autre ami a obtenu à l’avant. La voiture était plus âgé, pas «battre» dans le sens des dommages, ce que nous avons appelé un «tacot». Cela m’a rappelé un vieux taxi avec deux sièges de style banc et avec la suspension en vrac et les manœuvres d’une grosse voiture américaine, plus bateau comme de voiture. Je ne me souviens pas de la couleur de la voiture, mais ce ne fut pas quelque chose de flashy ou hors de l’ordinaire.

De l’arrière, je pensais que le conducteur était “vieux”. Pour 17 ans je devine que cela signifiait plus vieux que mon père qui aurait été 52 à ce moment-là. Mon impression était qu’il était à court et même sur le léger côté. Il nous a conduits une partie du chemin à Compton mais a tourné à gauche sur une route secondaire, va dans le mauvais sens pour nous emmener à Kings Hall. Au départ, nous avons supposé qu’il arrêterait mais il a continué à conduire en dépit de nos protestations. À une courte distance Susan, sur le siège avant, a crié quelque chose, peut-être “arrêter la voiture putain”. En ce moment, le conducteur a ralenti un peu pour traverser ce qui aurait pu une bosse ou voie ferrée? Il n’y avait rien autour, pas de maisons, des voitures ou des personnes. Elle ouvrit la porte de la voiture pendant que nous avançons, à quel point le conducteur a ralenti encore plus et elle a sauté. Cela le surprit assez qu’il a arrêté assez longtemps pour que ceux d’entre nous dans le dos pour brouiller out. Il partit en avant. Nous sommes arrivés à la route principale et je pense que nous étions soit ramassé par la navette de l’école ou peut-être marché le reste du chemin.

En 2012, je revis Kings Hall, a été rappelé l’histoire, et est arrivé de passer un officier de police stationné dans la ville de Compton. En fait, je lui ai dit arrêté pour l’histoire et laissé mon numéro de téléphone au cas où la mort de votre sœur était toujours sous enquête. Je me suis toujours regretté que nous ne disons rien à l’administration scolaire de cet incident. Ma seule excuse était mon jugement catastrophique comme dix-sept ans, plus de peur que mes parents pourraient découvrir que j’avais été l’auto-stop.

Alors, voici ma question: la police de Compton suivi à ce sujet? Signalez-le à HQ? Signalez-le à la Sûreté du Québec? Demandez à quelqu’un dans la communauté si elles se souviennent de quelque chose? Conduire la route (probablement la Rivière Moe – nous avons entendu beaucoup de comptes menant à là) pour voir si elle bocaux des souvenirs? Faire n’importe quoi?

Je pensais que cela irréaliste, pas plus. Il est un de 38 ans à cold-case: il n’y a rien à perdre. Et en outre…

c’est ce que de bons officiers de police font.

Aggression: Compton, QC – 1977

King's Hall, Compton. 2016

King’s Hall, Compton. 2016

A women who was a student at Champlain college (and in residence at King’s Hall, Compton) in 1977 contacted me this morning. During the 1977-78 academic year she and some friends were hitchhiking back from Lennoxville to Compton.

I have detailed a lot of accounts like this. You can find a posting on the subject here (click here).

Gilliard House, Compton. 2016

Gilliard House, Compton. 2016

I receive a lot of emails like this. But rarely are they this detailed (and frightening) – and she herself warned me of the compromises of memory. Also, it’s not a single account, it’s three witnesses (yes, I have their names):

In Fall ’77 or Spring ’78 (I know there was no snow on the ground) two friends and I missed the mid afternoon shuttle from campus and started hitchhiking to King’s Hall. I think we got picked up just past the last bar on the right on the way out of Lennoxville. I can’t recall the name of this bar, which was patronized by locals. I got in the back and slid over to behind the driver, leaving room for one friend beside me, the other friend got in the front. The car was older, not “beat up” in the sense of damage, what we would have called a “clunker”. It reminded me of an old taxi with two bench style seats and with the loose suspension and maneuvering of a large american car, more boat like than car. I cannot recall the colour of the car, but it was not something flashy or out of the ordinary. 

From the back I thought the driver was “old”. To a 17 year old I am guessing this meant older than my father who would have been 52 at that time. My impression was that he was short and even on the slight side. He drove us part way to Compton but then turned left onto a side road, going the wrong way to take us to Kings Hall. Initially we assumed he would stop but he kept driving despite our protestations. Within a short distance Susan, in the front seat, shouted something, maybe “stop the fucking car”. Just then the driver slowed a little to cross what might have been a bump or railroad tracks? There was nothing around, no houses, cars or people. She opened the car door while we were moving, at which point the driver slowed down even more and she jumped out. This startled him enough that he stopped long enough for those of us in the back to scramble out.  He drove off ahead. We got to the main road and I think we were either picked up by the school shuttle or possibly walked the rest of the way.

In 2012 I revisited Kings Hall, was reminded of the story, and happened to pass a police officer parked in the town of Compton. I actually stopped to told her the story and left my phone number in case your sister’s death was still under investigation. I always regretted that we did not say anything to the school administration about this incident. My only excuse was my abysmal judgement as a seventeen year old plus fear that my parents might find out I had been hitchhiking. 

So here’s my question: Compton police follow up on this? Report it to HQ? Report it to the Surete du Quebec? Ask anyone in the community if they remember anything? Drive the road (probably Moe’s River – we’ve heard lots of accounts leading to there) to see if it jars any memories? Do anything?

I used to think this unrealistic, not anymore. It’s a 38 year old cold-case: there is nothing to lose. And besides…

that’s what good police officers do.